Steve and Joanne Carfrae aren’t the type of people that like to be in the limelight. They do, however, enjoy giving back to their community.
And so over the last twenty five years, the Carfraes have worked through the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation to support local nonprofit organizations.
The Carfraes began giving through the Community Foundation in 1991. Since then they have humbly made yearly contributions to about 13 to 15 local organizations through their donor-advised fund.
“We used to sit down at the end of the year and write out checks to a number of different organizations,” recalls Steve. Now that their annual gifts are facilitated through the Community Foundation, the process of giving has been streamlined. “We have centralized it, so now we can easily donate from our appreciated stocks and assets. It is a better process.”
“The Foundation makes it flow so easily,” Joanne added, noting that the process is manageable for them as well as the small nonprofit organizations they work with.
The Carfraes support a wide variety of local organizations, from faith-based and community needs organizations to the arts, including St. Matthew Catholic Church, Greene Square Meals, Willis Dady Emergency Shelter, Catherine McAuley Center and Tanager Place to name a few.
“Our giving is mostly needs based,” said Joanne. “The needs in the community are always there. The nonprofit organizations we give to reach a lot of people and run good programs. And we feel really good that we can give like this.”
The couple has lived in the Cedar Rapids area all their life and said that giving back is part of how they were raised. Steve’s family, for example, owned a meat processing plant in town for 50 years. “Why wouldn’t we want to give back,” asked Steve. “We are giving back to the community that supported us all those years.”
Beyond their annual giving, the Carfraes are also members of the William Quarton Heritage Society, having made plans to support the community in perpetuity by giving life insurance plans to the Community Foundation.
“It was an easy choice to do that,” said Joanne. Steve agreed. “It is just the right thing to do. And hopefully we are making a small difference.”